Kukla's Korner

Canucks and Beyond

Game Day: Canucks Coach Alain Vigneault

Q.  Alain, you said yesterday that Alex Edler is fine, is he good to go tonight?

COACH VIGNEAULT:  Good to go.

Q.  Coach, can you talk about the insertion of Jeff Tambellini, Game 7 in his hometown, a dream scenario, especially for him tonight?

COACH VIGNEAULT:  Without a doubt, for Jeff to come in at this point.  He has had some experience in this series, but he hasn’t played regular.  But he’s going to get an opportunity here tonight to play the seventh game to win the Stanley Cup.

I’m sure he’s excited.  He knows about their history in B.C., the history of the Canucks.  I’m sure he’s going to be real good tonight.

Q.  Just wondering if you managed to sleep okay or were you tossing and turning thinking about all the things you might do in the game tonight depending on the situation?

COACH VIGNEAULT:  It was like every other night.  Obviously today coming to the rink, if you’re not a little bit nervous, safe to say it’s probably not normal.

I think both teams, players, coaches, everybody, will be a little bit nervous.  You just got to manage those nerves and go out and enjoy the moment and play.  I think that’s what we’re going to see.

Q.  Alain, you came off the ice with a big smile on your face and said to somebody, This is the best morning skate ever.”  Why?

COACH VIGNEAULT:  That I had.  I said it took me over 100 games, but this was the best one.  I skated real smooth and had a good shot on net, so I was pleased with the morning skate.

I wasn’t talking about the players because I don’t put a lot of stock into morning skates.

Q.  You mentioned you didn’t want to break up your third line because of the way they were playing at home.  Do you feel the same way?

COACH VIGNEAULT:  We’ll see tonight.

Q.  Coach, have you or anyone else spoken to Mason since yesterday and is there any update on him?

COACH VIGNEAULT:  I talked to Bernie when I got here this morning, and he had talked to him.  I think he might be on his way today or tomorrow.  I am not 100% sure because I think he had to see the docs this morning and I haven’t talked to Bernie since 7:30 in morning.

Q.  Alain, it’s still a bit cloudy whether he guaranteed it or not, but Daniel after the game was confident about Game 7.  Can you speak to a high-profile leader like that being outwardly vocal about his belief in the team.

COACH VIGNEAULT:  What did you expect him to say (laughter)?  Come on, we’re in this to win.

Daniel is one of our leaders on our group and he believes in the group and he expressed it.  I think it’s a normal thing to do at this time.

Q.  Coach, all season long you’ve been preaching one game at a time, but this is it.

COACH VIGNEAULT:  This is it.  This is the last one.  The last time you’re going to be hearing me say that (laughter).

Q.  Is there anything different you say to the team prior to this one?

COACH VIGNEAULT:  No, you know, we’re going to focus on the process, focus on our game, what we need to do.  That part hasn’t changed, and confident that we’re going to play a real hard game tonight.

Q.  Alain, how much are you addressing your own emotions about tonight?  You asked players to ramp up, you asked players to seize the moment.  What are you going through as a life-long hockey guy going into tonight?

COACH VIGNEAULT:  Well, you know, I know how hard this journey is, not just to get to the Stanley Cup Final.  I’ve said many times how privileged I feel to be one of the 30 head coaches in the National Hockey League.  It’s a tough business to get into, it’s a tough business to stay in, and I was out of this business coaching in the NHL for six years so it took me a long time to get back at it.

This is my fifth year in Vancouver.  I knew what was at stake this year.  I knew I was in my window of opportunity, and to get a chance to play for the Cup, to get a chance to play in the seventh game for the Stanley Cup, I’m real excited.

Doesn’t it show (laughter)?

Filed in: playoff hockey, vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault, game+7, interview+transcript, scf

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About Canucks and Beyond

Alanah McGinley has been blogging hockey since 2003 (with a notable gap in time through 2010, kicking it with new baby Lucy while living knee-deep in chaos while reading "parenting for complete idiots" during every spare minute) sharing opinions, rants and not-so-deep thoughts with anyone who will listen.

In addition to writing Canucks & Beyond and helping manage Kukla's Korner, Alanah was one of the founders and co-hosts of The Crazy Canucks Podcast. She has contributed pieces to FoxSports.com and the New York Times Slapshot blog, as well as other stray destinations in cyberspace.

So that's me. Who the hell are you? smile

Email: am@kuklaskorner.com

Alanah's Twitter: [@alanah1]